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About Us

Our Mission

Galaxy Unmanned Systems specializes in solutions to your project needs utilizing unmanned aircraft, including drones (fixed-wing & multi-copters) and lighter than air (LTR) vehicles (free-flying airships & tethered aerostats).  Our experience includes the full range of possible support: design, simulation, , documentation. innovative unmanned systems applications, including concept, design, manufacturing, certification, testing, payload configuration, sub-system integration, documentation, training, operations, manufacture and pilot training.

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A History in Development and Innovation

With decades of unmanned systems development under our belts, GUS has refined and improved our airship designs to accommodate a wide range of industry applications. Our vast and varied experience operating civilian and military UASs provide Galaxy the tools necessary to accomplish any project relating to unmanned systems.

We can take ideas from “back-of-the-napkin” conceptual design to final implementation in various fields of operation in a relatively short period of time. We offer practical UAS solutions for both military and civilian organizations alike. Our piloting and construction techniques have been tried and tested with great success in a variety of demanding situations.

Meet The Founders

Tony White

Tony White has more than 25 years of unmanned airship experience. He has managed every level of UAS development from piloting, design, construction, R&D, airspace integration, sensor integration, manuals, training programs, market research, business development and product placement. He pioneered unmanned aerial broadcasting by providing live broadcast feeds to ESPN’s NHRA events. He trained more than 200 contractors to operate TCOM and Aerostar aerostats in Afghanistan. Mr. White has completed two combat tours as a Boeing Scan Eagle UAV pilot contractor, serving both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Jason White

Jason White is the managing partner of Galaxy Unmanned Systems LLC and has more than 13 years of operations and program management experience in new and emerging technologies. His experience includes guiding businesses through unmanned aerospace solutions, B2B custom models and displays production, unmanned aerial broadcast solutions, product lifecycle management (PLM), engineering solutions, and creation and implementation of successful training programs for government contracts that accommodate rapid and sustainable-level deployment schedules with aggressive technology fielding plans.

Meet The Team

Tony White
Chief Operations Officer

U. Cem Kaya, PHD
Flight Control Systems Engineer

Jesse White
Administrative Assistant

Jason White
Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Pearson
Senior Lead, Business Closure/Collaboration

John White
Operations Support Specialist

Jonathan Smith
President of Galaxy Production Group

Quinn Sukhia
Project Manager

Sam Corlett
Shop Technician

Our Story

Team Galaxy specializes in unmanned aircraft, including drones (fixed-wing & multi-copters) and LTA vehicles (free-flying airships & tethered aerostats). Our experience encompasses design, simulation, prototyping, certification, manufacture, operation, pilot training, and technical documentation. Core to our autonomous UAS development philosophy is creating dual-use capabilities designed to meet both DoD Blue UAS requirements and FAA certification standards. This dual focus not only enhances our product's versatility but also aligns with our commitment to advancing airspace integration and fostering U.S.-based manufacturing. This comprehensive expertise has been foundational to our prior Phase I and Phase II research efforts, strategically positioning us for this STRATFI initiative. Serving as the next logical milestone in our ongoing technological progression, this initiative aligns seamlessly with our broader innovation roadmap.

Being central to our strategic focus, this multi-faceted innovation roadmap is engineered to realize our regenerative Constellation Concept—an autonomous multi-layered macro-/micro-swarming system-of-systems where airships serve as drone deploying motherships. This comprehensive solution was conceived in response to complex challenges arising from our efforts to unify disparate military focus areas with derived FAA Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) requirements into a singular integrated framework. Its inception was driven by the necessity for a robust, adaptable system capable of meeting diverse operational demands, and serves as an indispensable foundation for the realization of a fully automated future in seamless synergy with human and natural ecosystems. Within this framework, each swarm becomes a self-organizing entity capable of complex behaviors that are programmed to learn and adapt over time through AI/ML algorithms. The Constellation Concept is designed to evolve into a full enterprise fractal swarming solution creating a living system of systems that can dynamically respond to environmental variables and mission objectives. Also on this roadmap is our regenerative power management system featuring hydrogen fuel cells for converting hydrogen into water for clean and efficient power production. A reversible electrolysis process converts the water back to hydrogen and oxygen while drawing upon stored energy from a bank of batteries. Solar power complements this cycle by providing additional energy to compensate for conversion losses. Regulated by an autonomous power management system, these modular units work in tandem to attain a near-perpetual renewable energy loop. As advanced, this energy solution will be miniaturized and distributed throughout other systems in the Constellation Concept, forming a self-sustaining ecosystem that capitalizes on ambient resources like air, water, and sunlight. Our innovation roadmap deliberately targets prescient and relevant technological objectives that traditional UAS struggle to complete yet are uniquely achievable through our risk-mitigated LTA UAS development approach.

Prior to the 2009 FAA shutdown of the National Airspace to unmanned drones [24], Galaxy’s cutting-edge airships were operating all over the U.S., and even in several foreign countries Ref. [4][5]. From 2000–2009, Galaxy initiated work on several outdoor unmanned airships, culminating in a broadcast-quality platform that made history as the first unmanned airship to appear on a live broadcast Ref. [6]. During this period, our LTA UAS followed a progressive development schedule, building on previous projects and iterating towards an ideal remote piloted airship platform based on real-world flight testing, operations, and customer feedback. Adapting from our earlier traditional blimp prototypes, the GC35-G2A was the first unique Galaxy class airship that incorporated several key design innovations and included an optimized hull shape that maximized lift, balance, and aerodynamics, while the fins evolved to an “X” configuration for better control and improved ground handling. Designed to fit in a 35–foot trailer, this airship proved to be highly versatile and cost-effective and did a great deal to generate the eventual interest that launched Galaxy into the larger classes. Several GC35s were custom-built and sold to individuals and businesses including clients in Santiago, Chili, and Guadalajara, Mexico [11]. From this, the GC40-G2A was designed specifically for the use and sale to the University of Kobe, Japan, and was successfully incorporated into their research program resulting in a funded study by the SECOM Science and Technology Foundation [15].

In late 2006, at the behest of a prominent aerial broadcast operator, Bob Michaelson, Galaxy began production of a large 60–foot airship for the purpose of carrying high-definition gyro-stabilized camera payloads for use in live and pre-recorded broadcasts. This afforded us a pivotal opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of our new prototype GC60-G2A airship to ESPN during their broadcast for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in early 2008. As this was a standard integration test, we were told our system would not be featured on air for at least a year. Regardless, we wanted to ensure a seamless integration into the broadcast, so we sought industry-standard gear and contracted professionals who were regulars with ESPN's production company. This ensured the airship’s High-Definition (HD) feed could be effortlessly integrated into the existing production setup. As another proactive measure, we hired a seasoned camera operator, experienced in capturing high-quality stabilized aerial footage from manned aerial vehicles and adept at coordinating with production directors, to remotely operate the Cineflex HD broadcast quality camera from our Ground Control Station (GCS). Within minutes of launching the airship, in sync with the event's commencement, we were not only included in the live feed but completely integrated into the broadcast. Though we did not have a sponsor, Galaxy was recognized on the broadcast and given several on-air 'blimp-pops.' We provided the aerials for another NHRA event a month later, this time teaming with GEICO Powersports as our sponsor, validating our LTA UAS’s technological and commercial viability.

To further substantiate the commercial viability and branding potential of our technology, we engaged iTVX, a leading analytics firm, to conduct a comprehensive analysis of our integration into the NHRA broadcast [6]. The study employed two core metrics: Q-Ratio™, which measures the value of product integration against that of traditional media units and allows for a true cross-comparison between branded entertainment and conventional advertising spending, recorded a Q-Ratio of 6.6767, indicating that the value of our integration was nearly seven times that of a traditional 30-second commercial; and Q-Index™, which quantifies the quality of brand integration by weighting each second of exposure to a second of traditional media time, scored 61, meaning each second of brand exposure was worth over 60% of an endorsement-level second. Additionally, the study revealed a predictive recall score of 56, suggesting that more than half of the viewers would remember the sponsor brand based on the integration treatments used. These metrics both validated the commercial viability of our LTA UAS but also underscored its unique capability to offer high-impact brand integration and sponsorship opportunities. The total valuation of the three event airings was initially estimated at $104,958, with 1,048,000 estimated viewers across ESPN2, AFN, and TSN. When considering inflation and changes in how media is consumed, our advertising valuation alone would significantly exceed these metrics. This is especially true given that the intrinsic value of seamless, in-content brand integration far surpasses traditional advertising methods, not counting the added value provided in C-UAS security services for the venue and the FBI.

Up to 2009, the prototype GC60-G2A airship, and the larger GC75-G2A production model, employed several new design features and pushed the industry by conducting actual broadcast events and performed numerous demonstration flights for government agencies and potential clients alike. The GC-60 was eventually sold to the University of Delaware and remained in service as a research platform for many years changing hands numerous times amongst research-oriented projects ranging from coastal erosion studies to emergency-resource and cargo delivery to remote areas of Canada. The utility this platform showed for commercial applications and researchers speaks to the core advantages of unmanned airships as industry bridging platforms for realizing future capabilities. Completed in early 2009, the GC75 production model was equally successful and was the culmination of the lessons learned from prior airships exceeding performance expectations for an airship of its size and mass. Both the 60- and 75-foot remote piloted airships conducted flight trials at Dallas Executive Airport and proved that LTA UAS could be integrated into the USNAS routinely logging flight hours alongside private manned aircraft [14].

However, this commercial success was met with regulatory challenges as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed a blanket ban on all commercial drone operations. Despite a decade of proactive engagement with the FAA, we, along with the few other companies conducting commercial UAS operations, were issued cease and desist letters from the FAA. This regulatory hurdle came at a critical juncture in our development timeline. In September 2008, we had launched the Galaxy Airships website to promote our 75-foot blimp. By February 2009, we had completed its construction and initiated flight trials, successfully integrating a CineFlex camera gimbal and developing full remote paint controls for the gimbal system (another industry first). Part of our regulatory efforts included participating as members on the FAA’s Advisory Rule Committee (ARC) representing LTA UAS. The ARC was tasked with integrating UAS into the NAS. As a final attempt to influence regulatory action, we showcased the capabilities and safe operation of our GC60 to ARC members at a demonstration flight arranged by the FBI in Quantico, VA in March of 2009. This was kismet, as the FBI had seen our NHRA broadcasts and approached us about adding their payload to our airship for venue security and surveillance at sporting events. As part of the same trip, we executed a follow-up demonstration at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT. Orchestrated to secure contracts for upcoming seasons, this demo featured a live HD feed broadcast over a 5-mile distance directly into ESPN's control room, providing directors with a firsthand experience of our airship's long-distance, real-time broadcasting capabilities.

Unfortunately, the ARC's efforts stagnated, yielding no tangible results—a situation that perfectly encapsulates the broader regulatory inertia that would plague the industry for the next decade. This uncertainty, coupled with FAA inaction, led our investors to reluctantly pull out, forcing Galaxy to mothball its commercial efforts in December 2009. With the commercial sector closed and having no traction or experience with DoD, a new domain for us, Galaxy's principals sought work as contractors within other organizations. There, we were tapped to set up a DoD training schoolhouse for the new Persistent Ground Surveillance Systems (PGSS) program, which trained crews to deploy tethered aerostats to Afghanistan. We played a critical role in ensuring this Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) program successfully deployed crews and systems while initiating, iterating, and optimizing core processes and procedures that resulted in reliable operations using baseline manuals and pocket checklists.

In total, 52 systems—encompassing various types, manufacturers, iterations, and configurations of aerostats—were established at small forward operating bases (FOBs) within a span of just under three years. At the height of its operation, our training schoolhouse ran continuously, offering multiple shifts across a 24-hour cycle. With a throughput of two six-member crews each week and a consistent pipeline of hundreds of operators in various stages of training, we successfully graduated over a thousand contractor operators. The curriculum included refresher courses for returning personnel, officer training for military personnel and coalition forces and specialized ‘differences’ instruction for disparate aerostat systems and payloads. As the JUON program, which was purported to have a total budget topping $2bil, began to scale down, our team oversaw and documented the 'resetting' process and hand-off of the TCOM 22M+ system to the Army for integration into the Persistent Surveillance Systems - Tethered (PSS-T) Program of Record (POR). This experience simultaneously provided us with unparalleled insight into the real-world theater exploitation of LTA systems, while also revealing critical insights into the machinations of government contracting. Our exile from the commercial sector equipped us with the tools necessary to transition technology from an innovation effort into a complete Phase III POR.

Reinvigorated and relaunched, Galaxy is once again at the forefront of LTA UAS innovation, this time with a targeted focus on government applications. These efforts serve as dual-use springboards, deliberately designed to meet the needs of DoD stakeholders by realizing strategic capabilities, while simultaneously supplying regulatory agencies with the essential data required for broader airspace integration. The current STRATFI collaboration with the FBI and the NFL is not merely a new venture; it's a culmination of years of resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment. It marks Galaxy's return to form, allowing us to realize the full potential of our initial foray into sports broadcasting. With a unique amalgamation of expertise in the development, tactical deployment, and effective utilization of LTA UAS technologies, Galaxy is exceptionally positioned to transition these innovations into Phase III efforts for the DoD. Moreover, our approach is designed to be symbiotic with the private sector, ensuring that DoD solutions continue to evolve in tandem with commercial advancements, thereby securing long-term sustainability.

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